An attempt to perform water balance in a Brazilian municipal solid waste landfill

Palavras chave:
Water balance; MSW landfill; Leachate;

This paper presents an attempt to model the water balance in the metropolitan center landfill (MCL) in Salvador, Brazil. Aspects such as the municipal solid waste (MSW) initial water content, mass loss due to decomposition, MSW liquid expelling due to compression and those related to weather conditions, such as the amount of rainfall and evaporation are considered. Superficial flow and infiltration were modeled considering the waste and the hydraulic characteristics (permeability and soil–water retention curves) of the cover layer and simplified uni-dimensional empirical models. In order to validate the modeling procedure, data from one cell at the landfill were used. Monthly waste entry, volume of collected leachate and leachate level inside the cell were monitored. Water balance equations and the compressibility of the MSW were used to calculate the amount of leachate stored in the cell and the corresponding leachate level. Measured and calculated values of the leachate level inside the cell were similar and the model was able to capture the main trends of the water balance behavior during the cell operational period.